Trick Lid Puzzle Box

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This was a project I made as a test of using dove tail joinery with a jig many years ago. It’s made out of some scraps of pine and red oak.


I built the sides using dovetails. All to test out a dovetailing jig.

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To actually open it, these parts of the top had to be removed, flipped, and reinserted.

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In hindsight the lid parts should have had some way to retain them in the lid. After a few years the read oak dried more than the rest of the lid and shrank, so friction no longer holds them. Maybe inlayed magnets would be a good solution.

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Then once it’s open those with keen perception may notice the bottom is a bit higher up than it should be.

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When the maze was solved the ball would fall into a hole right behind the button, allowing it to actually push the latch to the open position. Then the hidden bottom could be lifted.

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The trick is the button seems to do nothing as a mislead.

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That caused these deadbolts to retract. In hindsight they should have been spring loaded to push in the locked direction.

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But the button still does nothing until a hidden maze is solved. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any pics of that mechanism. In short a magnetic ball is inside a maze. There’s a screw at the starting point. To start the maze you had to whack the side of the box to dislodge the magnet ball. Then follow the directions that were on a scroll left in the top half. eg “Go west until the fork, then turn north. Take the first right, then turn around and go east…” all while tilting the box to move the hidden ball.

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